14 June 2017
All great construction projects require the efforts of countless skilled workers, hundreds of specific tasks, and the leadership of a great construction project manager.
However, inexperienced project managers have the potential for greatness, but they must possess five crucial abilities to become a great construction project manager.
Great Construction Project Managers Communicate Clearly and Effectively
Communication skills lie at the heart of nearly every activity on the planet, and construction project managers need to understand and apply effective communication throughout a project. Without communication, skilled workers will be unable to perform to the best of their abilities. Furthermore, a project’s progress may be completely derailed as a result of poor communication skills.
A great construction project manager must be able to transcribe intricate project details into smaller, easy-to-complete activities. Furthermore, clear communication skills lead to the delegation of tasks.
Project Managers Need to Delegate Tasks
Construction projects are not single-person events; although, some may argue one person contributed significantly to the outcome of the project.
Project managers must be able to delegate tasks to skilled workers throughout project timeliness. This may include selecting different workers with alternate duties to perform specific activities or delegating individuals to oversee smaller portions of the overall project.
Reassess the Current Project Status and Prioritise Activities
Throughout a project, discrepancies in available versus needed resources, including workforce and physical resources, require project managers to frequently reassess the current project’s status and prioritise activities and tasks appropriately.
For example, a sudden change in weather could result in failure to complete roofing activities. As a result, these workers may be reassigned to other tasks. This example may also be broadened to encompass general contractors who may be experiencing their own issues with available workers outside of the company.
Problem Solving Skills
Every construction project comes with challenges, obstacles, and problems hidden in the background from conception. While it would be nice to believe nothing will go wrong, it’s best to err on the side of caution by planning for the unknown. However, no one will be able to identify every possible worst-case scenario, and construction project managers need to have advanced problem solving skills. This will allow a project to adapt and grow as the project develops.
Furthermore, construction projects may experience additional problems, such as community backlash or political opinions, which threaten to hinder progress. Problem solving skills are especially crucial when a re-evaluation of progress results in changes to project deadlines.
Understanding the Importance of Teamwork
Although much of a project’s outcome relies on the skills of the construction project manager, the end result would not exist without the cooperation of all workers and team members in a project. A great construction project manager understands this, and he or she will need to make every effort to create a “let’s-work-together” environment of trust and appreciation. This may be something as simple welcoming feedback through communication, or project managers may spend additional time in the field with workers.
Being a construction project manager is not enough to guarantee the success of a project. Great construction project managers utilise five skills, ranging from communication to teamwork, to ensure a project’s success and a high return on investment.
Key Skills Needed to Become a Great Construction Project Manager
> Communicate clearly and effectively to others involved in a project.
> Delegate tasks to those capable of completing them, or assign workers to oversee areas of a project.
> Evaluate progression and adherence to deadlines on a routine basis. When something changes, you may need to re-prioritize your planned activities and tasks.
> Develop problem solving skills by considering potential problems faced in a project. Come up with solutions to problems that others have not considered.
> Create an environment of teamwork and willingness to help coworkers.
As a project manager involved in the fast-moving construction industry, have you considered pre-fabrication as an alternative to save time, money and labour on your next project?
Download your free guide on ‘Prefabrication. The Way Forward’ to find out more about the origins of pre-fabrication, the benefits and why builders and contractors around Australia and the world are embracing the idea of transferring construction from off the construction site and into quality controlled factory environments.